There's nothing like the feeling of being given exclusive access to give a holiday that extra appeal. Recognising the interest in private gardens and the hidden gems that lie within their walls, RHS Garden Holidays have opened the gates to a number of select properties that wouldn't normally be open to the public. Bringing a new dimension to their itineraries, RHS Garden Holiday clients can now enjoy exclusive access to a number of private gardens, ranging smaller cottage plots to large expansive estates, in the knowledge that they'll be one of the very few to get through the door. They'll also get the chance for a guided tour of the gardens by either the Head Gardener or owner themselves – the perfect opportunity to learn and even share some ideas about gardening.
A highlight in May is a visit to the private garden of RHS President Sir Nicholas Bacon Bt, when the wildflowers – including the gentle blue, purple and cream Camassias as well as vibrant cherry and apple blossoms should be looking their best, along with Viburnum, Cornus and willows. The RHS has also secured entry to RHS Council Member Lady Xa Tollemache's fabulous gardens at Helmingham Hall where the house, parkland and gardens together create an exceptional work of art.
Covering the adjoining counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, other visits including RHS Garden Hyde Hall; Beth Chatto's famous garden and nursery; Wyken Hall vineyards and gardens - the vineyard produces some 12,000 bottles a year, while the garden features a knot and herb garden, an old fashioned rose garden and an orchard. There are also visits to East Ruston Old Vicarage, an inspirational exotic garden; The Place for Plants at East Bergholt Place and Marks Hall Garden and Arboretum, whose extensive collection is planted on a geographical theme, with plants from the temperate regions of the world grouped together.